Published on May 7th, 2007 | by Erich Becker0
Review: Spider-Man 3
Warning this review contains plot spoilers.
Almost like a loosely written comedy, the writers and producers of Spider-Man 3 choose to include as much material as possible gathered from the comic books, throw it at the wall, and see what stuck with the audience. All we are treated to in the end is an entertaining, albeit unfocused comic book film which tries to cram too much into its 145 minute runtime and doesn’t leave you feeling with the sense of conclusion you were hoping for.
If one was to gather any indication of a film’s quality from its first trailer we should have seen this coming, Spidey 3‘s initial teaser was a jumbled, underwhelming mess that certainly didn’t promote the biggest adventure for the web-slinger on the big screen.
It isn’t that Spider-Man 3 is a bad film; it just tries to do too much. In the span of two-and-a-half-hours we see the origin story for Sandman, the Venom symbiote crash to Earth and “infect” Peter Parker, a love triangle between Parker, Mary Jane and Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborne go from bad, to good, pretending to be good but still bad, then good again, Eddie Brock becoming Venom, and it just goes on and on. In an industry where many time critics complain about a lack of plot, this film goes into the opposite spectrum and tries to give too much to the fans.
Sure there will be fanboys all around who are practically drooling for another chance to see the black-suited Spider-Man toll around New York, or Venom appear on the big screen, but there was so much that could have been excised from the final cut of Sam Raimi’s picture that there’s almost two movie’s worth of material here. Even with all the plot thrown in here the Sandman character feels completely unnecessary, and his inclusion seems more as a way to take the focus away from Venom and Harry’s follow-in-your-father’s-footsteps-brooding.
It was nice to see how the black suit affected Parker, but his over-the-top emo look (ripped straight from an AFI concert) was a bit over the top, and his “jazz” routine near the end of the film’s second act is more of a distraction than really relating to anything pertinent.
The best part of the film is actually the short cameo by cult-actor Bruce Campbell, this time as a French maître d’ who steals each and every scene he’s in.
Spider-Man 3 is going to make a lot of people happy, it’s an entertaining film that puts the web-crawler on the big screen to finish up an initial trilogy, but like the original Star Wars trilogy, the third installment ends up being the big disappointment after a spectacular second chapter. After it’s all said and done, you’ll see the film again and again because its pure Hollywood popcorn, but you won’t come away from the movie like you did the first and second installments with a huge anticipation of the next chapter in the back of your mind. After Spider-Man 3’s credits wrap, you can honestly say, you don’t mind if they make another one or not.